Let the world spice up your life.

Cafetalk Tutor's Column

Tutor Samuel C 's Column

No white knuckles for me

Weekly Topic: Memories of Amusement Parks

Oct 31, 2020

I don’t have my own photos of the funfair amusements so I’ve written their names in italics if you want to put them in a search engine and find out what they look like.


When I was younger I wasn’t a thrill-seeker so I never went on the white-knuckle rides. I wouldn’t go on the rollercoaster or the galleon / pirate ship. They were far too nerve-wracking for me. I preferred the more sedate attractions such as the merry-go-round, helter skelter or hook-a-duck. However, I once went on the Waltzer at a funfair and felt very sick for hours afterwards. I always had a soft spot for the log flume – it has water and, unlike the rollercoaster, has only one drop. I also loved the funhouse.

Because I’m not an adrenaline junkie the amusement parks – or theme parks as they’re often called here in the UK – I fondly remember from my childhood are Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight and Dreamland in Margate. Dreamland had the Big Wheel and dodgems which aren’t frightening but are a lot of fun.

Blackgang Chine doesn’t have many big rides, it’s more like a ‘pleasure garden’ populated by weird and wonderful characters and scenery. I vividly remember three things from when I visited: the enormous statue of an 18th Century smuggler, the animatronic goblins and pixies, and that part of the park had recently slid into the sea! Blackgang Chine is on soft clay that now and then slides into the sea so every now and again the park attractions are moved further inland.


Do you like white-knuckle rides or do you prefer the gentler attractions such as the teacups?

Do you like the old-fashioned attractions such as the helter skelter?

Have you ever been in a Funhouse or Hall of Mirrors or something similar?

Can you vividly remember animatronic characters from an amusement park?


l  thrill-seeker     noun     a person who enjoys dangerous and exciting activities

l  white-knuckle    adjective     a white-knuckle ride is exciting and frightening

l  nerve-wracking     adjective     a nerve-wracking/nerve-racking situation makes you feel very worried or distressed

l  sedate     adjective     calm and relaxed

l  have a soft spot for something     phrase     to like / be fond of

l  unlike     preposition     be different from

l  adrenaline junkie     noun     someone who wants excitement

l  fondly remember    collocation     remember with affection

l  vividly remember     collocation     remember clearly and with detail

l  smuggler     noun     a person who takes goods into or out of a country illegally

l  animatronic     adjective     concerning animatronics (noun) = electric puppetry

l  pixie     noun     an imaginary tiny person like a fairy or an elf

l  clay     noun     a kind of earth often used to make pots

l  now and then     phrase     sometimes happens but not regularly

l  every now and again     phrase     sometimes happens but not regularly

Got a question? Click to Chat